If there is a country, place or things you have always want to visit or do, it’s Australia! Sunny weather all year round, paradise white sandy beaches, spectacular rainforests, amazing wildlife and ones of the most beautiful Unesco World Heritage sites: Uluru, Great Barrier Reef , Shark Bay to name a few!

But many of you just jump on a plane thinking they will figure it out. To make the best of your trip, it’s wise to plan accordingly… meaning: have a good idea of how much the main things cost – accommodation, food, booze, activities and transport – as they will take up a large chunk of your budget.

Here’s a break down of the main backpacker spends, so you can prepare for an amazing adventure Down Under!



Australia is a very safe country and one of the biggest backpacking destinations on the planet so you can go for couchsurfing, sleeping in a car/van, camping, but also hostels and motels, there is something for everyone taste! 

Couchsurfing is free! But it may not be available in remote areas. Check Gumtree.com or Couchsurfing.com.

Sleeping in a car/van and camping allow you to travel cheaply for long periods of time and are the best options for backpackers as they give you the freedom to sleep anywhere you want! Renting a van costs around $39-$85 a day in low season and $55-$105 a day in high season. If you’re travelling with your partner or in a group the price will be divided and will be cheaper per person. And don’t forget, when you hire a campervan with Travellers Autobarn you get access to free camp grounds and discounted rates at many other top campsites.


If you’re planning to visit for more than 2 months, second hand cars/4WD/VANS is for you. Used vehicles can be found at a descend price and are pretty easy to come by in major towns and cities. Don’t forget to add in the cost of fuel!

Hostels prices vary from city to city; ona verage $30 per night (shared dorm) and $40+ (double/twin). Be aware that hostels are much more expensive in high season: $70 per night in a prime location like Bondi Beach, Sydney during the silly season!

Food and Drink

A single traveller under the age of 35 year old spends $104 a week on food and drink. Supermarket shopping can be a little more expensive than you will find back home, with a loaf of bread costing 53% more in Sydney than London and 1 litre of milk costing an extra 22%.

If your budget is quite tight, the cheapest places to stock up foods are big chains supermarkets. The average budget is $55 per week – yes your wallet will thank you! Check in store discounts and compare the prices offered for the same item by different supermarkets companies – most of the time there is a different from few cents to few bucks!

We all know that eating out is always more expensive in all countries. In Australia = Food: main course restaurant $15-$25. Drinks: coffee $3-$4 – schooner of beer $7-$8 – cocktail $15-$20. But if you need to dine out, grab your meal from Food Courts $10-$15 (found in all major Australian cities) and get Happy Hour deals: schooner of beer or a glass of wine $3-$5 and Say Hello to extra dollars saved in your pocket!

Average Daily Budget: $10 (scale this cost up if you are planning on eating out or going out for drinks regularly). Check our Blog from 11th February for Ideas on what you can Eat on the Road!


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If you don’t fancy doing the driving yourself, then you can hop on/off a Greyhound Coach. Passes start from $329 and allow you to travel from destinations such as Brisbane to Cairns for $329.

Travelling by plane can be hassle free if you want to go on the opposite side of Australia. The low costs carriers are Virgin Australia, Tiger Air and Jetstar. One way flight price from Sydney to Melbourne is around $80.

Daily Budget: This is depend on how, when and where you want to travel in Oz.

Trips and Tours

You should consider not doing all the really exciting things and places at the beginning. This is because you may find other experiences thereafter but you won’t have any money to do them.

Here is a list of prices of the most popular attractions in Australia:

·         Full day tour of the Barrier Reef – anywhere upwards of $99

·         Sydney HarbourBridge Climb – between $148 – $158

·         A three-day trip to Uluru – starts from $350

·         Australia Zoo – $59

·         Wet ‘n’ WildWaterPark Gold Coast – $69

·         Surfing lesson in ByronBay – from $60


Should I go backpacking? Even if you have just a tiny, little urge to go, GO! Do your research, check travel books, blogs and websites and make a travel plan, as your lifestyle and how long you wish to backpack will determine how much you need to save approximately to make your travel dream comes true!

(All prices listed are based on today prices – February 2015)

Looking for more Budget Travel Tips for your epic trip in Australia? We are experts on the subject!

Check out the perfect deals & specials across campervan hire in Australia and find the perfect spot for your backpacking trip.

About the Author

Bastian Graf

Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.

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